As Resident Evil Village (RE8) is just around the corner, what better time to review the story of the newest protagonist of Capcom’s ‘survival horror’ franchise? Despite only having one game under his belt, Ethan Winters it is on everyone’s lips again. This is due to his expected role in the next installment of the series. However, given the possibility that some fans have not played Resident Evil 7: Biohazard or require a reminder, it is pertinent to review the story of Ethan Winters.
Through this article, we will answer the question “Who is Ethan Winters?”.
This article contains ‘spoilers’ for Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. Discretion is recommended when moving forward.
Ethan Winters: the accidental hero of Resident Evil
According Morimasa Sato, responsible for the history of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and director of Resident Evil Village, the development team originally envisioned Ethan as “a camera for the gamer”. He was just an ordinary man who was in the wrong time and place … or perhaps the opposite. There were no plans to make him the next hero in the franchise. However, whether it was an accident or a conscious decision on Sato’s part, this did not end up being the case. Despite being designed as a “transparent” protagonist, the development team ended up fond of Ethan.
At the end of the development of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, the team was already planning a sequel and made the decision that Village
Ethan Winters’ “appearance” in Resident Evil 5 (RE5)
Before talking about Ethan’s story, we need to clarify something that has circulated since his debut. On Resident Evil 5 (RE5), there is a document called “Spencer’s notebook”. It includes a list of Umbrella employee names, including “Ethan W”. This coincidence led fans to conclude that Ethan had a hidden past.
This theory is conflicting due to the fact that “Ethan W” is reported as dead in the aforementioned document. Not least, given the characterization of the protagonist in Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, having been an Umbrella employee would be meaningless. To this day, Capcom has not confirmed whether “Ethan W” is the same as Biohazard Y Village.
Past (before Resident Evil 7)
With the exception of a few facts, Ethan’s past remains a mystery. It is known that he was born in 1984 and lived in Los Angeles working as a systems engineer. At some point in his adult life, Ethan met Mia. The two married in 2011 and moved to Texas, where they lived happily. However, Ethan was unaware that his wife worked for The connections: a company specialized in the creation of biological weapons.
On October 10, 2014, Mia informed Ethan that she was going to babysit on a boat. A few days later, the boat disappeared in a storm and Mia was left for dead.
The Dulvey Incident (Resident Evil 7)
On July 18, 2017, almost three years after Mia’s disappearance, Ethan receives an email from his wife saying she was on a farm in Dulvey, Louisiana. Without questioning the veracity of the information, Ethan travels Dulvey the next day and enters the farm. There, find Mia. Apparently, she had been a prisoner all this time. Even stranger, she claims not to have sent the mail. Despite the confusion, the couple decide to escape.
However, in what looks like a fit of insanity, Mia attacks Ethan. Reluctantly, he is forced to defend himself and subdue his wife in order to survive. Unfortunately for Ethan, his nightmare had only begun. After defeating Mia, Jack Baker appears and knocks him out.
Soon after, Ethan wakes up in the dining room along with the Baker family –Jack, the father; Marguerite, Mother; Lucas, The son; Y an old woman– while enjoying a feast of human remains. After refusing to participate, Jack sticks a knife in his mouth to force him to eat. However, Ethan is saved when the police knock on the door. While the family is distracted, Ethan manages to escape his bonds and runs into a police officer. This orders to him that they meet in the garage of the farm. Unfortunately, Jack murders the officer. Then Ethan is forced to fight Jack and manages to kill him … or so it seems.
Guided by Zoe —The Bakers ‘daughter, who reveals that both her family and Mia were contaminated by a fungus — Ethan explores the Bakers’ estate in search of the items needed to develop a serum to cure the infected. In his search, Ethan is forced to confront a revived Jack, Marguerite, and Lucas’s traps.
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After gathering the ingredients to make the serum, Ethan reaches the pier. There, he finds Mia and Zoe tied up. After releasing them, Ethan is attacked by a mutated Jack Baker. Without many options, he is forced to use one of the serums on Jack to defeat him.
With just one serum, Ethan decides to heal Mia and they both escape in a boat. However, Ethan promises Zoe that he would send help. Unfortunately, Ethan and Mia are attacked just as they passed the castaway from the ship Annabelle: the same one who was traveling last three years ago. Captured by the fungus, Ethan is taken to the ship’s engine room. With the help of Mia, Ethan manages to free himself and receives a tissue sample to kill the person responsible for the infection of the Baker and Mia: Eveline (E-001), a biological weapon that rapidly aged into the old woman who accompanied the Bakers.
After abandoning ship and traversing the Abercrombie Salt Mines, Ethan arrives again at the Bakers’ house to confront Eveline. Despite injecting it with the Necrotoxina-EMade from the fabric Mia gave her, Eveline evolves into a giant creature. Fortunately, a helicopter that flies over the area passes the gun to him Albert-01. With a few shots of it, Ethan finally takes Eveline down.
With the threat suppressed, several soldiers identified with the logo of Umbrella – now in the service of the Bioterrorism Security Alliance (BSAA) – they get out of the helicopter. One of them reveals that it is Chris Redfield. With his help, Mia and Zoe are rescued.
Prior to Resident Evil Village
Following their rescue, Ethan and Mia are quarantined after contact with the E-001 bioweapon. During this period, they both had a baby they named Rosemary. However, everything changed one fateful night in 2021. Without warning, the Winters family was attacked by their own BSAA guards. Rosemary was kidnapped and Mia was personally executed by Chris Redfield. Although the latter offered no explanation, he said Ethan would find the answers in a village in the mountains of Romania.
What awaits Ethan in Resident Evil Village? There is only one way to find out!